Former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


F. Scott Fitzgerald said,"Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy." In times of crisis,heroes stand their ground with commanding strength and devotion to hold togetherand guide their followers. One year ago, immense courage arose from the ruins inNew York City as then-mayor Rudy Giuliani took charge. His handling of the crisiswas an act of political courage, statesmanship and moral strength.

Amongthose who perished when the World Trade Center towers were hit were many known toGiuliani, including part of his extended City Hall family and close friend TerryHatton, a Rescue One captain. The mayor commented, "The whole experiencecontinues to be very strange, because it's very personal, but it's also part ofmy public duty as mayor to deal with it." Making a number of quickdecisions, Giuliani organized the evacuation, rescue, hospital and securityservices to handle the crisis. He then spoke over the airwaves to reassure andcalm the petrified citizens of New York. Afterward, he toured hospitals tocomfort families of the missing and wounded between visits to Ground Zero.

In the following weeks, Rudy Giuliani attended more than 200 funerals.Through it all, he tried to keep an optimistic outlook and promote hope, saying,"Our skyline will rise again. The people are going to be whole again."He proved to be a strong and capable leader because he was prepared for almostanything before the crisis. Giuliani had always been a tough individual whowasn't afraid to make unpopular decisions.

While in office, the mayorreduced crime in the city by a third and murder by half, and was a man ofconviction when dealing with difficult situations. Rudy Giuliani believed thatmany New York leaders were "abdicating in the face of great threats,"and he wasn't about to do that during his two terms in office. Giuliani argued,"People didn't elect me to be a conciliator ... You don't change ingrainedhuman behavior without confrontation, turmoil, anger." His "civilitycampaign" targeted jaywalkers, street vendors and noisy car alarms, and eventhough it was extremely unpopular, he believed it would help New York, and sostuck with it. He didn't hide his lack of sympathy for minority leaders by rarelyreaching out to them. But after throwing his support behind the NYPD after themurders of Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismand, he later admitted he had made amistake. Showing true leadership, he announced that he wanted to break down"some of the barriers that maybe I placed" between him and New York'sminority groups. Although he admitted to not knowing how to do that, he promisedto "try very hard."

Giuliani often ran emergency staff drillsand prepared officials for their roles during a difficult time. The wife of TerryHatton said that this preparation was why the reaction to the attacks was sowell-orchestrated.

Giuliani showed tremendous leadership on September 11,2001 and was able to turn fear and disaster into courage and hope, not only forhimself but for the people of America. Well-deserving of Time magazine's title"Mayor of the World," Rudy Giuliani showed immense political courageduring the attacks and throughout his term in office. He is "Rudy theRock," a symbol of determination, passion, commitment and strength. &




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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